Lake Youngs Trail

Location: Near Renton.

Length: 9.9 miles (1 to 2 hours).

Skill level: Beginner.

Terrain: Easily rolling loop route on wide gravel trail.

More information: King County Parks, 206-296-4232.

Overview: Since Lake Youngs is part of the Seattle water system, the lake is surrounded by a tall fence and security is tight. Though the lake is never actually visible, ignore that frustration and enjoy this easy, wooded loop. Deer are a common sight inside the fence. Several short sections of this trail can be rather rough if lots of horses have used the trail, so beginners should ride with care.

Lake Youngs trail: Begin from the gravel parking area at the King County park next to Lake Youngs. Find the trail that leaves from the parking area. Several hundred yards from the parking area, reach the Lake Youngs loop trail and turn left. This wide gravel trail follows the fence that encloses the reservoir. At 2.3 miles, reach the intersection of 184th Avenue Southeast and Southeast Lake Youngs Road. Cross over the impressively big water pipe and continue on the trail alongside the fence. At 6.5 miles, reach the corner of 148th Avenue Southeast and Southeast 216th Street. Take a right, following the fence and paralleling 148th Avenue. At 9.6 miles, reach the bottom of a short, but steep, hill. You may have to walk it. At 9.75 miles, you've completed the loop. Take a left onto the trail that returns to the parking area, 9.9 miles.

To get there: From Interstate 405, take Exit 4 to Highway 169, the Maple Valley Road. Turn right onto 140th Way Southeast. Proceed 2.2 miles, then turn left on Southeast Petrovitsky Road. Drive 1.4 miles further, then turn right onto Old Petrovitsky Road. Drive .5 mile further and find the Lake Youngs Trail parking area on the right. Park in the gravel lot.

John Zilly is the author of "Kissing the Trail: Greater Seattle Mountain Bike Adventures."